Aston Villa v CHELSEA: Preview

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Venue: Villa Park

Date: Saturday, 31 March

Kick-off: 15.00 GMT

 

In spite of some woeful form this season, you’d have to think given our history with this fixture, Villa supporters might actually fancy something from this game. They’ve definitely turned into a bit of a bogey side for us and we haven’t always been convincing ourselves this season – unless it’s in the Champions League of course!

Talking of which, let’s not forget we’ve had yet another trip away midweek, so it could be a mixture of tired legs and heads in the clouds………or maybe I’m just getting any required excuses in early?

 

 

MANAGERS’ VIEWS

Unlike me, Villa manager Alex McLeish clearly doesn’t feel the need to excuse their form ahead of our game and of their current situation, says “Listen, I’m used to – having not been the manager until this season – expecting Villa to be in the upper tiers of the Barclays Premier League. I can understand that’s what the fans want for their team. When you’re wearing that jersey it’s Villa, the heritage, but we are a team, definitely a club, in transition.”

Roberto Di Matteo meanwhile, says “We need to win points in the Premier League. We have played Stoke, City and Spurs.  It’s difficult against Stoke. They drew at White Hart Lane and at Manchester City, so we know how strong they are.  We’re in good form and shape, though. The spirit’s good and we’ll try to take that into the next game. When you win, the confidence flows into the players and team. We’ll try and take that into the next game.”

 

 

SQUAD NEWS

Villa have a pretty depleted squad with captain Stiliyan Petrov missing out following the shock news he has been diagnosed with acute leukaemia, TCB wishes him a full and speedy recovery. Alan Hutton (calf), Darren Bent (ankle), Richard Dunne (shoulder), Fabian Delph (ankle), Charles N’Zogbia (knee) and Ciaran Clark (knee) are all out injured.

For Chelsea meanwhile, Raul Meireles (knee) is our only doubt.  Branislav Ivanovic and Ramires have been passed fit after overcoming minor knocks.

 

 

TEAMS

VILLA (from): Given, Guzan, Lichaj, Herd, Collins, Cuellar, Warnock, Baker, Bannan, Gardner, Ireland, Albrighton, Agbonlahor, Heskey, Weimann, Marshall, Johnson, Stevens, Delfouneso.

CHELSEA (from): Cech, Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry, Luiz, Cahill, Cole, Bertrand, Mikel, Romeu, Essien, Meireles, Ramires, Lampard, Mata, Malouda, Drogba, Torres, Sturridge, Kalou, Turnbull.

 

 

LAST MEETING

Chelsea 1-3 Villa (31st December 2011)

 

 

PREDICTION

Like I’ve said, this is fast becoming a dreaded fixture for us. We’ve only won at Villa Park once in 13 years, so in spite of them clearly doing everything in their power to challenge for relegation this season, that probably means sod all today. We haven’t beaten them in our last 3 Premier League meetings and were on the wrong end of a 3-1 scoreline at Stamford Bridge on New Years Eve. Confident of a win today then? Silly question!

 

One Response to “Aston Villa v CHELSEA: Preview”

  1. Thanks to the BLUES on their immense and relentless efforts to rescue their season umh thumbs up!As we march on to two troph…Do not think VILLA would get anything out of this match.Kudos and ride on higher.